Teens helping to prevent underage drinking, smoking and vaping in Iron County

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(The Daily Dish) Today on The Daily Dish, we are in Cedar City with a fantastic group of young ladies who are doing amazing things in their community with Southwest Prevention.

Amy is talking with a group of teens that are against drugs and they are from Iron County. They’re are from the areas local schools and they’re group is a coalition of teen volunteers that work to prevent underage substance use and to create policies.

Liz the president of the youth coalition also joined us on the show to tell us a little bit about why the policies work and why they have been so important in the community.

They know that there’s no perfect way in prevention but they do know that a policy is the most positive way to help set expectations and keeps people accountable. Research has shown that policies work even if it’s not enforced, there are people who are more willing to comply to the policy.

Also, these policies help to change what is seen as normal in a community. For example research has shown that if teenagers see smoking and vaping as a risky behavior then they’re less likely to start or try it and less likely to continue.

Emma is the vice president of the coalition and she has been been doing some work on the policies also over the last year. They noticed a lot more drugs and tobacco use in schools, they decided to go and talk to the superintendent and they school board members, as well as a representative from each school. They were able to create a tobacco policy and they also donated signage to help bring that cause together.

We spoke with several young girls that decided to get involved in the coalition because they wanted to make a positive difference in their community and they didn’t want teenagers making negative choices in their lives. They also wanted to do everything they could to prevent things such as underage alcohol and smoking from happening. They have all seen or heard stories of so many young people that have abused substances and they’ve never seen it be a good choice or have a positive effect on their lives.

They’ve been visiting with many city councils around the county and they’ve been able to get them to update their policies to include e-cigarettes and vaping. Also with that, they were able to get City Council members to partner with them and change their signage policy and include e-cigarettes and vaping around parks that were designated smoke-free.

If you or someone you know would like more information or you’d like to get involved you can visit their Instagram page or you can also visit the Southwest Prevention website.

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